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Poll finds New Yorkers back new gun laws, but split on fracking

A new poll finds voters overwhelming support for many of the items that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing, including parts of the newly enacted gun control law. 

Steve Greenberg, with Siena College, says the poll asked voters whether they wanted New York to have the strongest anti-gun laws in the nation, including banning assault weapons and outlawing magazine clips that hold more than seven bullets. Greenberg says the measures have broad support, at 73 percent to 26 percent.

“It has support downstate and upstate,” Greenberg said. “Even 58 percent of Republican voters support the toughest assault weapons ban in the action.”

Ninety-one percent of those polled support the new provisions to stiffen penalties on illegal gun use, the poll found.

Siena also asked New Yorkers about a plan proposed by the NRA to put armed guards in schools. Voters were split, with 46 percent saying it’s a good idea and 52 percent saying no.    

New Yorkers also gave a thumbs up to other items on the governor’s agenda, including the raising the minimum wage, at 83 percent to 15 percent, and public financing of political campaigns at 59 percent to 36 percent.

On whether or not to allow hydraulic fracturing in New York, voters continue to be split on the issue, but now more voters are opposed to fracking. In this poll, 44 percent were against it and 40 percent were for it. Last month, those polled supported fracking by a six percent margin.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.